Complementary and alternative medicine Medicine Quackery

Kevin Trudeau found guilty of contempt of court!

I had a busy time yesterday and last night and was just too tired to blog seriously last night. So I’m afraid there’s no epic Orac-ian screed/rant/brilliance/insightful analysis today. (Fear not. I expect something worth tearing into later this week, however.) So, in the absence of new Insolent brilliance, let us all take a moment to proclaim our gratitude that longtime quack and scammer, Kevin Trudeau, is almost certainly going to jail again:

Hawking everything from financial advice to weight-loss solutions, the smooth-talking Trudeau managed for more than a decade to stay one step ahead of the government’s efforts to silence him, all the while amassing a cultlike following as federal regulators hounded him in court and imposed a whopping $37 million fine.

On Tuesday, a federal jury wasn’t buying what Trudeau was selling. The panel of six men and six women deliberated just 45 minutes before finding the controversial author guilty of criminal contempt of court for lying about the contents of his weight loss book in infomercials that aired seven years ago.

It was a swift end to an unusual weeklong trial at the Dirksen U.S. Courthouse for Trudeau, 50, who showed little reaction to the verdict as he sat on the edge of his seat. Moments later, Trudeau was unceremoniously taken into custody on orders from U.S. District Judge Ronald Guzman, who expressed concern that the man so familiar to late-night TV viewers posed a risk to flee. Prosecutors believe he has millions hidden in overseas accounts.

Long may Trudeau rot there. I can think of several others who should join him there but, sadly, still roam free to prey on unsuspecting patients.

Until tomorrow…open thread time. I haven’t done one of those in a while.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

29 replies on “Kevin Trudeau found guilty of contempt of court!”

Was checking out our favourite crank blog today, AoA, and saw an article about Jon Stewart. Read the comments. There is one poster trying desperately to get through to them (EpiGuy). I submitted a comment in his support, but it was never posted. I think the last I saw they are saying he is supporting human sacrifice….

@Mike – having been banned from commenting at AoA a while back (for being, of all things, reasonable) – I don’t even attempt to post, even under another name…no point, since they are so draconian in the way they censure posts (or just outright ban individuals).

@ Mike, what AoA will do is allow a “pro-vax” comment or two through and let the inmates go to town on it but not allow any subsequent “pro-vax” comments through giving the appearance that they fled in shame and fear.

The Canary Party is planning a hearing before the House Oversight Committee to disparage the National Vaccine Injury Program, as Orac has previously reported on the briefing. Today, Every Child By Two is asking everyone to contact the Committee

Every Child By Two is encouraging everyone to contact the members of the committee today. Please feel free to use the wording contained in this letter (click here) and to reference the points listed above. We suggest that you also include your personal interest in this issue. For example, ”I’m a concerned parent“, “My child contracted a vaccine preventable disease“, “I’m a public health advocate and have witnessed the outbreaks“, “I fear that the increase in vaccine exemptions in my community may put children at risk” etc.

For a listing of the committee members and their contact information click here. We encourage you to email all of the members as soon as possible and/or call their offices to express your concerns. If a member is from your state/district it would be most effective if you send them a personal email stating that you are their constituent.

If you care about the health of our children, please take action on this immediately. There is a concerted effort among those who doubt the safety of vaccines to reach out to members of the committee. Therefore, it is imperative that we voice our support as quickly and affirmatively as possible.


He sounds so like Wakefield doesn’t he? A rich scam artist who says how the government, big pharma etc etc is behind his woes.

I guess that will just prove that “they” don’t want you to know what is in his books…

While I think some woomeisters really believe what they’re selling, Trudeau very obviously does not. He’s a con artist, plain and simple. (His “Natural Cures” book is quite unintentionally hilarious though.)

I guess that will just prove that “they” don’t want you to know what is in his books

The article quotes a Trudeau supporter who was going for the full Galileo gambit, comparing Trudeau to Nelson Mandela. Said supporter apparently came from Minnesota to Chicago to attend the trial.

I got the sense that the article wasn’t giving the full picture (to be fair, it was labeled “breaking news”). The conviction was for contempt of court. There were mentions of an FTC consent decree (which Trudeau allegedly violated) and a $37M fine imposed by the judge (which Trudeau has apparently not paid). The matter before this judge was about a violation of the consent decree, but unless a judge explicitly approved that decree (which may have occurred when the fine was imposed), the statute in question wouldn’t be contempt of court.

Oh, and fie on the alleged journalist who reported this story. The lede as written is heavily slanted in Trudeau’s favor, adopting his framing of the government silencing him. Which, as the rest of the story demonstrates, is not what is happening here. Sorry, Mr. Trudeau, but you are not above the law.

@dedicated lurker:

(His “Natural Cures” book is quite unintentionally hilarious though.)

But how many people has he klilled with it?

Dedicated lurker spurs me on to muse:

which of our usual targets ( woo, anti-vaxxers, altmed, brave mavericks et al) do you think really believe in their own line of bs, press, bio, adverts?
There must be a way that we can apportion the variance to represent how much they truly believe: pure malarkey ads.
Of course, we’re only guessing at this point BUT eventually…

I’d venture that Mike and Gary probably believe AND follow their own advice more often than not. Mercola much less.

What seems more like sales talk rather than evangelism?

Mike Adams and Gary Null, yeah. Chopra appears to also be mostly serious. I don’t think Hulda Clark ever believed what she was selling. Mercola might believe some of it, but he’s in it for the money. I think Adelle Davis believed what she said.

The conviction was for contempt of court. There were mentions of an FTC consent decree (which Trudeau allegedly violated) and a $37M fine imposed by the judge (which Trudeau has apparently not paid).

The funny thing is that it was only $5 million to start with.

The matter before this judge was about a violation of the consent decree, but unless a judge explicitly approved that decree (which may have occurred when the fine was imposed), the statute in question wouldn’t be contempt of court.

I’m guessing this one is still based on the 1998 stipulated order. Oh, wait, I have a PACER account. Stupid decaf…. Nope, it’s a violation of the 2004 September 2 consent order. This is case 1:10-cr-00886. There should be a good chunk of it on RECAP, but if you can get the search function to work, you’re a better man than I.

I see that they do give the rather baroque procedure. Does it count as that these are under “Accessing the RECAP Repository without PACER” yet only work if one knows the PACER number? Probably not.

Anyway, the docket is here.

I hear the suckers coming,
They’ve got some dough to spend,
But I ain’t seen the cash sign, since…
I don’t know when.

I’m stuck in huckster prison,
Contempt time’s…
Draaaaging on.

When I was just embezzlin,
The banker told me, “Son,”
“You claim to be a doctor!”
“But you ain’t foolin no one.”
So I failed at incognito,
And had to seeerve sooome tiiiime.
When I hear my cellmate grunting,
I hang my heeeaaad aaaand cryyyyy.

I have no idea how long it takes that docket to update, BTW, but since I’m looking at it and running the RECAP Firefox extension, it’s supposed to upload it. Here’s the summary of document 144:

ORDER as to Kevin Trudeau: Jury trial held. Jury deliberation. Jury returns verdict of guilty. Jury trial ends. Post-trial motions to be filed by 12/3/2013. Response due 12/17/2013. Reply due 1/3/2014. Sentencing set for 2/6/2014 at 10:30 a.m. It is hereby ordered that defendant’s bond is revoked and he is taken into custody by the U.S. Marshal. It is further ordered that defendant may keep his contact lenses. Signed by the Honorable Ronald A. Guzman on 11/12/2013. (ym, ) (Entered: 11/12/2013)

The last document entered is No. 148, a somewhat late testimonial from another satisfied customer.

With regards to Trudeau (and all the other scammers) – it’s always best not to:
a) Diddle the government out of any monies (especially tax or fines)
b) Lie to the court
They are so full of their own hubris that they think they will always get away with it, which I admit they do at times when technicalities come into it.

Meryl Dorey of the AVN here in Australia is finding herself in a similar boat. All of a sudden government acronyms that can seriously affect her income and freedom are auditing the books.

Her hubris was on display when she crowed far and wide about beating the ‘corrupt’ Health Care Complaints Commission – that made it far easier for people involved with SAVN to lobby the state government resulting in a rare bipartisan change of the Health Care Complaints Act – the loophole the Meryl/AVN legal reps exploited (a complainant must be a patient) has been closed – anyone can complain if there is concern for the public health.

Of course, when the government is involved, these things take time. Lots of it. It’s hard to remain patient 😉

I wish they’d stop using the word bullying. Like anyone of those straight, smug, suburbanites ever got bullied at school or in the workplace. ‘Comedians making fun of politicians on the tube’ is not bullying.


It is further ordered that defendant may keep his contact lenses.

No! The fools! Don’t they know that’s how he hypnotizes people? His escape is inevitable! [/snark]

I saw one of his books and flipped through it. Most of it looked to be simple cut-and-paste blocks of text from internet, possibly magazines. Most it looked to be pure BS with a few factoids that were included in the copying process.

It looked like an overweight middle school project that got published. It appeared to me that someone cruised the net and simply copied everything that had anything to do with the subject. There was little formatting, editing or spell checking.

Given that this looks to be a protracted effort at plagiarism I wonder why he isn’t prosecuted for copyright violation? Get him on that and the proceeds of every sale could be placed in question and seized.

@ Todd W.:

it’s not hypnosis..
it is simple woo-ing, i.e. the mark is made to feel that s/he is someone ‘special’ – perhaps even chosen because of his/her laudable qualities-intelligence, being down-to-earth, deserving, above the ordinary run-of-the-mill status quo.

The huckster stresses how they two have much in common, unlike those miserable self-centred elites( arghhh,I hate how they make that adj into a noun!) despite the woo-er being shockingly brilliant and all- then the secret information is shared- amongst friends.

Thus proceeds the romance- rather than attempts to get into the woo-ed one’s pants, his/ her pocketbook is really the target of the slippery manoeuvring. HOWEVER acquiring wealth is not the only goal – the perp’s ego needs to be massaged and stroked.

I would guess that people who get into this trade suffer a malady that requires regular doses of worship and praise in order to feed a starving sense of self-worth. The invective hurled at opponents also might be a symptom of this diastrous personality malfunction. I don’t think that anyone who stoops to this professional posturing could be what we would call ‘normal”- rich maybe, but not normal.

@Denice Walter

Ah…so the contacts are just to make his eyes dreamy…or something. Still, nefarious tools far too risky to allow him to keep. Natch.

Oh, and everyone, please visit the link Liz Ditz provided up at #4, and contact the committee.

I didn’t know who Trudeau was, but I recognized him from the occasional sleazy infomercial of his I’d seen (but never watched for more that about 30 seconds).

Sadly, he’ll probably go to one of those higher-end prisons and hatch more schemes with the other white-collar crooks there.

^ That’s odd; the first lookup showed current status at the MCC, and now it’s punting a 1993 record.

I’m shedding a tiny tear for this sociopathic and evil confidence trickster. I hope that his sentence reflects the fact that he has millions of dollars squirreled away and ensures that it will be a very long time before he sees a penny of it.

Too bad he’s in a clean, orderly Federal prison. Somewhere which houses gangs from Los Angeles would provide a bit more incentive for this guy to straighten out for five seconds.

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